Opening Up Lath And Plaster, Need To Tear It All Down? - Drywall & Plaster - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Drywall & Plaster


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-28-2010, 03:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

Opening up lath and plaster, need to tear it all down?

So I'm purchasing a home that has some water damage from a previously leaking roof. In the bedroom there are stains in the ceiling and wall from this leak, and the inspector recommended opening it up and making sure the wood isn't rotting. The plywood under the linoleum floor was so damaged that it likely needs to be pulled up and replaced too, so I suspect a decent amount of water leaked in.

Since the house was built in 1917, I'm sure it's got lath and plaster walls. My question is, if I do take plaster off the wall, and pull lath off, once (and if) it looks good to close back up, what do I need to do? Do I try and install drywall in a neat hole that I cut open? Or do I need to tear down the whole wall and put drywall up?

Also, what should I expect to find behind that wall? Insulation? Anything? It's an exterior wall.


brandnew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2010, 08:17 AM   #2
Household Handyman
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,478
Rewards Points: 1,408

I have worked on a number of older homes in my area, having to cut holes into plaster/lath walls. I have used drywall to make repairs but I add some backing to the area where the drywall will go. I have even had to enlarge the opening to get wood into the area so I have something to attach the drywall to. Once attached, finish it out as ususal-although a bit more work there, repaint and all should be well. David


Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2010, 11:37 AM   #3
Ole Wood Worker

BigJim's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 10,637
Rewards Points: 776
Blog Entries: 1

From my experiences working with antique homes, removing the plaster is quite a messy job. Be sure to wear a mask as it is very dusty. The plaster is held to the wall with lath. Lath is wooden strips nailed to the studs with a small space between the lath. The plaster is applied to the lath and most times the plaster had horse hair as a reinforcement.

There was never insulation in the walls unless it was added at a later time. If you have to remove the plaster and install drywall there is a chance the studs are not the same dimension so be prepared to make adjustments there, just in case. While you have the walls open it would be a good time to update the electrical.
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.

BigJim is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:51 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Freeport Maine
Posts: 484
Rewards Points: 250

Plaster walls do not mix well with water. It will take about seven years for the plaster to dry out if it has gotten any significant amount of water in it. If the plaster got wet from the leaking roof, it needs to come out. That's from very recent experience.

Also, from recent experience...unless someone blew insulation in from the outside, you are not likely to find any behind those plaster walls. Also, your exterior walls are most likely to be 2x4 (a full 2x4, not 1.5x3.5) and the interior walls should be 2x3, not including the lathe.
1910NE is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ceramic tile over lath and plaster wall? shtoink Tiling, ceramics, marble 5 05-05-2010 09:29 PM
mounting things on lath and plaster walls wilderstyle General DIY Discussions 11 01-17-2010 08:48 AM
Working with lath and plaster Steelhead General DIY Discussions 5 02-16-2009 06:27 PM
Installing baseboards on lath & plaster B Scott Remodeling 6 07-05-2008 09:29 PM
Fishing through plaster and lath walls?? slatergrl Electrical 7 02-05-2008 08:29 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1